Betty Pitts, center, known as the matriarch and former first lady of Blowing Rock, is surrounded by event hosts at the June 13 afternoon tea, during which she was introduced as the honorary chairwoman of the 2013 Blowing Rock Hospital Fashion Show and Luncheon. From left are Lynn Lawrence, Pitts and Suzanne Miller. Photo by Sherrie Norris
Friday, June 21, 2013
(Last modified: 2013-06-21 14:18:01)

Source: The Blowing Rocket

Betty Pitts, one of Blowing Rock’s most revered citizens, was introduced at an afternoon tea on June 13 as the honorary chairwoman of the 2013 Blowing Rock Hospital Fashion Show and Luncheon.

The show and luncheon are slated for Aug. 2 at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

In the presence of 45 friends, family members and associates, most of who were adorned in hats of every size, shape and color, Pitts accepted her role with the grace, dignity and humor for which she is known around her hometown.

The event was held at the home of Tucker and Ginny Yates on Green Hill Circle, coordinated by Dena Lutes and hosted by past chairwomen of the annual fashion show, which for 36 years has served as the medical facility’s signature fundraising event.

Also in attendance at the celebration were past honorary chairwomen, Harriet Davant and Reba Moretz, several past chairwomen and representatives of the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System, which encompasses Blowing Rock Hospital.

Introduced by Suzanne Miller, chairwoman of this year’s event, Pitts was described as one whose lifetime impact upon Blowing Rock is “immeasurable,” through her service in the faith and medical community, as well as from her contributions to education, the arts, and local history.
of Dimes, and in 1973, she organized the Blowing Rock Rescue Squad,” Miller said. “She has served the Blowing Rock Hospital as auxiliary president, as a member of the board of trustees, established The Budget Box thrift store and hospital chapel and was named Blowing Rock’s Citizen of the Year, as well as Woman of the Year (1981). She has served for many years on the fashion show and luncheon committee and has always helped any way she could with any special event for the hospital.”

Miller said that Pitts continues to chair the care committee that provides meals for the community’s sick and shut-ins and, for more than 20 years, has been a part of the Pitts Family Singers that provides visits and music each month at Blowing Rock Hospital’s Davant Extended Care.

Pitts has penned the “Quiet Corner” column for many years, which appears weekly in The Blowing Rocket with updates on local happenings and prayer needs.

She has also been a longtime active member of First Baptist Church, Blowing Rock, where she has held many teaching and leadership posts.
“Blowing Rock’s former first lady (and matriarch) has always had a heart of gold,” Miller said.

“In addition to her service to the Blowing Rock community, she raised seven of her own children, and fostered 28 additional children over the years. We wanted to honor this great lady of Blowing Rock for her years of service to us by naming her honorary chairwoman of an event she has supported for all of its 36 years.”

Pitts spoke of her fondness for her community and her loyalty to the hospital, where her seven children had been born.

“This is such an honor for me,” Pitts said, who said earlier that she had inherited her “servant” spirit from her beloved mother.

A prayer of remembrance was said by Miller for Helen Duncan, past event chairwoman, who died unexpectedly earlier in the week.

Blowing Rock health care

Rob Hudspeth, senior vice president of the ARHS system advancement, was joined at the event by colleagues Megan Ellis, major gifts and special events coordinator, Jessica Powell, annual giving coordinator, and Brian Whitfield, grants and planned giving coordinator for the presentation.

Hudspeth presented an overview of the new facility, which is scheduled to replace the existing Blowing Rock Hospital in early 2015.

He described the future Appalachian Place at Chestnut Ridge as one that will enhance current medical care in the area, while keeping with the expectations and architecture of Blowing Rock.

Hudspeth said that approximately $5.5 million has already been raised toward the $10 million goal for the facility, estimated to cost about $20 million.

Hudspeth acknowledged that the continuous support of the annual fashion show has played a significant role in Blowing Rock Hospital’s ability to provide excellent health care through the years and expressed his appreciation to the committee for its ongoing loyalty.
Hudspeth said that the current Blowing Rock Hospital property will be sold and the building demolished once the new facility is occupied.

He also indicated that the health care system and the town of Blowing Rock will work together to attract appropriate development for the site and one that will complement the neighborhood.

Ellis, who has worked alongside the fashion show committee for several years, noted that the Blowing Rock Hospital Fashion Show and Luncheon is one of 18 fundraising events scheduled for the hospital for this year, which includes the July 27 Patron’s Party, followed by the actual fashion show and luncheon on Aug. 2 at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

Committee chairwomen for the 2013 event are Suzanne Miller, Marianne Hall, Dena Lutz, Ginny Yates, Ruth Dyer, Jane Meyers, Lynn Lawrence, Bryan Commander, Jon Commander and Mandy Poplin.

For more information about upcoming events to benefit the new Blowing Rock hospital, contact Megan Lynch Ellis at (828) 262-9564 or email  (

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